UPR 41 Highlights: Sexual Rights-Related Recommendations

Published on December 14, 2022

Below is our list of sexual rights-related highlights from each UPR41 review. This list presents recommendations made related to sexual rights, including State responses to date.

In collaboration with our partners, the SRI collaborated on reports for South Africa, India, Poland and the Netherlands for this session.




  • Take concrete measures to eliminate all forms of discrimination and violence in health settings, including against LGBTI persons and persons with HIV/AIDS, by removing legal provisions criminalizing and stigmatizing them and providing appropriate human rights training to health workforce. (Portugal)

  • Continue its efforts to guarantee women’s access to information on maternal and reproductive health and to means of contraception. (Canada)

  • Accelerate efforts to respect and protect the right to health of women and girls by removing barriers to their sexual and reproductive rights. (South Africa)

  • Decriminalize abortion and ensure the right to universal and save access to sexual and reproductive health services. (Iceland)

  • Continue efforts to address violence against women, including by revising the Criminal Code to include a comprehensive definition of rape, and improving access to sexual and reproductive health information and services. (Ireland)




  • Include in national legislation a provision that prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity and repeal provisions that criminalize consensual sexual relations between persons of the same sex, in particular articles 326, 346 and 350 of the Penal Code. (Mexico)

  • Decriminalize abortion and ensure protection and services for victims of sexual and gender-based violence. (Iceland)

  • Develop and implement a national programme to provide access for persons most at risk of or affected by HIV, including migrant and domestic workers, to quality, affordable and rights-based prevention, testing, treatment and support services and to combat stigma and discrimination in this regard. (Portugal)

  • Repeal articles 334 and 353 of the Penal Code that perpetuate violence and discrimination against women, as well as criminalize sexual violence and marital rape as specific crimes, establishing adequate sanctions and guaranteeing that no exception or mediation is applied in these cases. (Mexico)

  • Implement all necessary legislative and administrative measures to allow Bahraini women married to foreigners to transfer their nationality to their children without restriction. (Uruguay)




  • Continue working to adopt the pertinent reforms to have a legal and public policy framework that allows for a more effective fight against racism, discrimination and structural violence against persons of African descent, with an intersectional perspective that includes LGBTIQ+ people and measures to prevent crimes due to prejudice against the trans and transvestite population and travesticides and transfemicides. (Argentina)

  • Ensure access to sexual and reproductive health services; and adopt a strategy on comprehensive sexuality education. (Mexico)

  • Increase access by adolescent to a full range of contraceptive information and methods of their choice in order to prevent teenage pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections. (Panama)


  • Ensure access for all to sexual and reproductive health care, including for HIV/AIDS, prenatal care, contraception, and safe abortion, without discrimination or the need for judicial authorisation, and ensure age-sensitive abortion care protocols. (New Zealand)

  • Ensure the right to education and to health, securing an age-appropriate curriculum on gender and sexual education in schools, aimed at preventing sexually transmitted infections, unintended pregnancies as well as gender-based violence and inequality. (Denmark)

  • Ensure the right of women to freely access safe and legal abortions is guaranteed, without bureaucratic obstacle or discrimination, and in conditions that meet the need for privacy, respect and support. (Australia)




  • Increase the scope and strengthen state programmes for education and prevention in Comprehensive Sexual Health, taking into account the alarming rates of sexual violence and unwanted pregnancies, or pregnancies resulting from rape, especially in areas with limited access to health and justice services. (Netherlands)

  • Continue increasing awareness programmes regarding sexual and reproductive health rights and the different forms of contraception. (Mauritius)

  • Take measures to prevent and prohibit practices considered as “de-homosexualization” or “reorientation treatment” against LGBTQI+ persons. (Belgium)


  • Revise legal provisions on civil marriage to include same-sex couples and regulate assisted reproductive methods. (Iceland)

  • Legalize abortion in cases of rape, incest, threat to the life or health of the pregnant woman or serious malformation of the fetus, and decriminalize it in all cases. (Mexico)

  • Ensure timely and effective access to safe and legal abortion services for all pregnant people who need them. (South Africa)

  • Adopt an age-appropriate comprehensive sexual education policy, in line with scientific evidence and human rights, and ensure that it is a compulsory subject accessible to all students from primary school onwards. (Costa Rica)


  • End exacerbated discrimination and violence based on sexual orientation, and protect and compensate victims. (Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela)




  • Strongly consider repealing legislation that permits the sterilisation of women with mental disabilities. (Greece)

  • Continue to focus on combating violence against women, particularly intimate partner violence. (United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland)

  • Conclude the reforms so that the legal recognition of the gender identity of transsexual people is based on self-determination, eliminating requirements such as sterilization and medical treatment to change legal status. (Mexico)

  • Enable automatic co-parent recognition and recognition of trans parenthood. (Iceland)




  • Ratify the OP-CEDAW on individual complaints and criminalize marital rape and honour killing. (Spain)

  • Guarantee the right to sexual and reproductive health, information, education and services for all. (Iceland)

  • Introduce comprehensive sex education in the Indian school curriculum to increase the students’ awareness, train teachers and prepare information materials for families. (Czechia)

  • Improve the enforcement of laws relating to sexual violence, investigate all acts of sexual violence, provide training to law enforcement officials on effective interventions, and expand the definition of rape and sexual assault to include marital rape. (Canada)

  • Review and modify the Law for the Protection of the Rights of Transgender Persons, of 2019, in order to allow the issuance of official identity certificates for these persons, including the adoption of effective prevention measures against institutional and police violence against trans persons. (Argentina)




  • Amend and harmonize laws and policies to ensure access to safe abortion services. (Iceland)

  • Take all necessary measures to ensure effective implementation of programmes on combating violence against women, reducing maternal mortality and improving access to reproductive healthcare services, especially in rural and remote areas. (Kyrgyzstan)

  • Ensure that comprehensive sexual and reproductive health education is included in the national education curriculum, including for women and girls with disabilities. (Botswana)

  • Take additional measures to abolish exceptions to the prohibition of child and early marriage, including to address judicial dispensations and conservative religious interpretations of the marriage age, while taking steps to avoid bride kidnapping by ensuring consent of all women in all marriages. (Canada)

  • Apply the Sexual Violence Crime Law with a multisectoral policy that is combined with the fight against gender violence, including against LGBTI and gender diverse people. (Chile)




  • Incorporate sexual and reproductive health programmes, prevention of adolescent pregnancy and access to contraceptive methods into the Universal Health Coverage, especially in rural areas. (Mexico)

  • Criminalize rape within marriage and decriminalize all consensual sexual relations between adults outside of marriage. (Iceland)

  • Consider the adoption of a new reform of the Moudawana in order to abolish polygamy, decriminalize sexual relations outside marriage, guarantee equality between women and men in matters of legal guardianship, inheritance or transmission of nationality, in accordance with the CEDAW. (Belgium)

  • Take appropriate measures to reduce stigmatization of single women and single mothers and promote their inclusion in society. (Angola)

  • Reform the Penal Code to decriminalize all consensual sexual relations outside marriage, explicitly criminalise rape and guarantee women sexual and reproductive health and rights. (Norway)

  • Guarantee transgender people’s right to health and bodily autonomy by allowing full access to medical treatment. (Iceland)




  • Strengthen the provision of adequate sexual and reproductive health care services. (Mauritius)

  • Comprehensively integrate human rights education in the national school curriculum, including children's rights and age-appropriate education on sexual and reproductive health rights, and ensure that teachers are provided with adequate training in this area. (Slovenia)

  • Step up efforts to combat violence against women and domestic violence, including by revising provisions on sexual violence and domestic violence, particularly those relating to the definition of rape and other sexual offences, in the criminal laws of all four constituent countries of the Netherlands, in line with international human rights standards. (Liechtenstein)

  • Guarantee access to legal gender recognition for both intersex and transgender persons of all ages, without obstacles infringing the individual right to self-determination and financial barriers. (Israel)

  • Consider optimising law, policy and practice to lower hate crime rates against LGBTI+ persons and promote a higher percentage of perpetrators being prosecuted and convicted. (Malta)




  • Continue to improve access to basic public health services for all, especially sexual and reproductive health services in rural areas. (Tunisia)

  • Pursue effective measures to reduce maternal mortality and protect adolescent girls as well as to forced sterilization of women. (Bangladesh)

  • Further enhance the full and effective implementation of programs on universal access to healthcare, including sexual and reproductive health for women and girls.(Lao People’s Democratic Republic)


  • Decriminalize abortion and ensure that there are no criminal penalties for any services related to abortion care. (Netherlands)

  • Adopt the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Expression Equality Act at national and local levels. (Ireland)

  • Repeal laws that undermine the rights of trans-persons. (Chile)




  • Ensure the universal protection of the rights of women and girls to access safe and legal abortions, including refugees. (Australia)

  • Intensify efforts to protect and promote women’s rights, including sexual and reproductive health and rights in line with international human rights law and standards. (Czechia)

  • Ensure timely and effective access to sexual and reproductive health services and to refrain from criminalizing their provision. (Finland)

  • Improve significantly women’s rights by implementing initiatives to prevent domestic and gender-based violence, by changing the legal definition of rape and by reversing the restrictive new abortion law. (Norway)

  • Take further steps towards combating gender-based violence through introducing a consent-based definition of rape and extending the current definition of domestic violence to include economic abuse. (United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland)

  • Implement legal and administrative reforms to ensure non-discrimination and full inclusion into society of LGBTIQ persons, including combating hate speech and hate crimes, providing legal recognition of same-sex partnerships, legal gender recognition and gender-affirming healthcare for transgender people. (Norway)


South Africa


  • Ensure women have access to health care and sexual and reproductive health services including abortion. (Luxembourg)

  • Take all necessary measures to expand and facilitate access to modern contraceptives among adolescent women and young people. (Uruguay)

  • Bring national regulations closer to decent work standards, and incorporate the gender perspective, to guarantee an adequate standard of living and a narrowing of the wage gap, especially for domestic and agricultural work groups; extend social protection to sex workers. (Costa Rica)

  • Amend the Children's Act to prohibit virginity testing for all women and girls and criminalize the practice of ukuthwala. (Luxembourg)

  • Accelerate progress to address Gender Based Violence, including abhorrent practices like so called 'corrective rape', by implementing the National Strategic Plan on Gender-Based Violence and Femicide. (United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland)




  • Develop awareness raising strategies to combat sexist stereotypes and foster a zero-tolerance culture for violence against women. (Chile)

  • Eliminate discriminatory practices based on sexual orientation and gender identity. (Canada)


  • Put dignity of people at the center of the justice sector by guaranteeing access to an independent civil justice, reinforcing the application of Law 5, and abolishing practices like forced anal and virginity tests. (Netherlands)


  • Decriminalize abortion. (Iceland)

  • Repeal article 230 of the Penal Code criminalizing consensual same-sex relations and introduce legislation to protect against discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and intersex status. (Australia)

  • Legally recognize the gender identity of trans persons. (Iceland)


United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland


  • Consider introducing legislation to reform the Gender Recognition Act of 2004 to remove requirements of diagnosis, “living in role” for 2 years, spousal veto and to introduce a process of self-determination. (Malta)

  • Adopt urgent measures to prevent violence, discrimination and hate speech that violate the rights and dignified treatment of trans people, and amend any regulatory framework that pathologizes and/or stigmatizes them; and in the same vein, prohibit conversion therapies. (Argentina)

  • Follow up – and guarantee full implementation – of its recent commitment to ensure access to abortion for women in Northern Ireland. (Denmark)

  • Continue with legislative and policy measures for ensuring pay parity and equal access to safe reproductive health services across all of the United Kingdom. (India)

  • Continue work to reform the Gender Recognition Act based on international human rights standards, including recognition of trans and non-binary individuals. (Australia)

  • Take measures to address the low representation of women in Northern Ireland and specific targeted measures to improve the representation of women in political and public life, including “Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic” women and women with disabilities, in Parliament, the judiciary, and decision-making positions. (South Sudan)


Read the full compilation of sexual rights-related recommendations at UPR 41 Here